Polar Vortex Leaves Many without Water, Power, and Heat


Eylee Pennings, Staff Writer


On top of the pandemic, the winter storms are leaving many without electricity, water, and heat. Sure, the snow is fun to play in, but without water and power there is no way to dry your wet snow clothes! Sure, it’s fun to put on cozy jammies, drink hot chocolate, and snuggle by the fire watching a movie, but how will you heat the hot cocoa and stay warm? If you don’t have electricity or water, this is probably the last thing you want to hear. However, get ready because this can help you if you are living in the dark and cold!


No Power/Electricity or Heat

Having no electricity is no fun, but it can also be dangerous. If you don’t have that or heat, try to find somebody that you can stay with who does. If not, there are still things you can do to get by! It might be difficult to get food and stay warm in the midst of these times. 

  • Using a grill.If you have a grill, use the burners to heat water and cook food.
  • Canned goods! Beans, corn, fruit, whatever canned foods you have are great to eat. Things in your pantry (bread, cookies, etc.) are great to eat as well.
  • Put aside flavors! You need to fill your tummy, spices and salts are not priority.
  • Light a fire. Lighting a fire in your fireplace can help to stay warm.
  • Blankets and warm clothes. Pile yourself with blankets and clothes in your closet. Wear extra layers to stay warm (even wearing gloves and hats inside would work).
  • Try to stay inside. Snow is fun but without heat it isn’t. Stay inside and try to limit your outside trips unless necessary.


No Water

Being without water is dangerous and a lot of work. Drinking water is essential, and we need it in everyday life! Again, if you don’t have water, try to find somebody willing to let you stay with them until further notice or try to find some solutions.

  • Wash hands with hand wipes. Due to the pandemic, many probably have hand wipes and antibacterial wipes. You can wash your hands with these, and use them in your armpits as a solution to no showering.
  • Water bottles. If you have any plastic water bottles in your pantry, drink them when thirsty.
  • Plastic silverware, Paper plates. SInce you can’t wash dishes, using these substitutes are great alternatives to dishwashing.
  • Solutions. There are not many solutions if you aren’t prepared for this, (many aren’t–it was a surprise so don’t worry about it) so staying somewhere else is the best solution!



Many still have power and water, and so you can still prepare just in case anything happens. Better safe than sorry!

  • Store run. Go to the store (drive very slowly and carefully) and stock up on water jugs and bottles, plastic utensils, paper plates, food (lots of non refrigerated foods), blankets, fire logs, lanterns, batteries, flashlights, and lighters.
  • Fill up a bathtub with water. If times get bad, you can use this water if a shower is needed, for drinking (boil before use), or to wash dishes. My family did this a couple of days before our water went out, and now we have enough to do so many things!
  • Prepare for blackouts with flashlights and lanterns. Store some around the house in case power does go out. My family and I have one stored in each room, just in case!
  • Charge phones and iPads. Plug your electronics in whenever they are not being used! If electricity goes out, you will have phones to call and text for help!
  • PREPARE! Of course preparing is essential in times like these, there’s no need to point it out! There are many ways that you can prepare as well! Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, especially now!


Staying Active and Productive 

Of course, going outside might not be an option for all of us, but working out in the dark is dangerous! Some ideas are to run laps, do push ups or curl ups, or do weights in the day time so you get natural light! Playing games and making crafts instead of watching TV and playing video games makes for great productivity! Parents will be less annoyed too; maybe the power outage isn’t that bad after all!

Owls’ Experiences

Did you lose power sometime during the storm? If so, what was your experience?


Beatrix Matthews-My power went out for 23 hours, and the main thing was that it was really cold. Our stove and oven are electric, so we couldn’t cook either.”


Kathryn Russel– “Well, we lost power for an hour off 30 mins on.”


Sofia Sokoll- “I wasn’t freaked out or anything, I actually thought that it was a good challenge just to get us out of our comfort zone, but I can see how it gets tiring too, we only had no power at night, and sometimes for a few hours during the day, so nothing too bad.”


Anonymous- “It wasn’t as bad as I thought. I got some time off the screen and spent more time focusing on my family and catching up with them. It was cold and dark, yes, but I’d say even if the experience wasn’t very long – for me, at least – my relationship between my family members is much stronger now.”


Nola Williams- “It was scary! I had to sleep downstairs because my music player kept turning on and off and getting loud.”


Addison Wiley- “It was so hard! It was so cold that we had to stay at two different friends’ houses before our power came on a few days after it went out.”


Did you lose water sometime during the storm? If so, what was your experience?


Brooke Bolinger-I didn’t lose water, but a couple of pipes burst outside that my dad and neighbor had to fix. We did go on a boil water notice so we had to use bottled water for drinking, making food etc.”


Beatrix Matthews- “We lost water pressure for a little bit, but not for long. It wasn’t too bad, we were prepared.”


Sophia Sokoll- I only have a trickle of water, but it’s unsanitary so we aren’t drinking it, yesterday though we filled up all of our water bottles with clean water, so we have a lot of water.”


McKinnley Rupp-”  We were pretty lucky, but whenever we got a boil warning (which I am still in) it is kind of scary knowing that I may run out of water. But we are prepared.”


Snow is fun, but think of all the damage it costs. There are always ways to prepare and make things work. We can still be powerful without power!